Monday, April 21, 2014


Leviticus 19:1-20:27

By Rabbi Rabbi Steven Pik-Nathan for Reconstructionist Jewish Communities


Parashat Kedoshim begins with Leviticus 19:1 and is referred to as the "holiness code." It begins with the verse "God spoke to Moses, saying: speak to the entire community of the Children of Israel, and say to them: you are to be holy, for I am holy. I am YHWH your God!"

The portion then continues with commandments to be in awe of your parents, keep Shabbat, and stay away from idolatry. Then the people are told when they offer a "shalom" offering it must be eaten within the next day. If it remains until the third day, it is to be consumed in fire or you will become profaned and be cut off from the community.

The portion also contains the commandment to leave the corners of the fields for the poor, the stranger, the widowed and the orphan and a series of injunctions against unethical "anti-social" behavior (i.e., stealing, lying).

This particular sections ends with the commandment not to hate your fellow human being in your heart, but to rebuke those who do wrong so you do not bear sin because of them. Verse 18 concludes this section with what is figuratively (and literally - just about) the center of the Torah: "Love thy fellow human being as you love yourself; I am God!"

The following is my own reinterpretation of these verses that I would like to share with you.

"Wholiness" - by Rabbi Steven Pik-Nathan
God spoke
To all
then now forever

Be Holy
Be Whole
Be at One
With me
As I am
With you

Be filled with awe
At creation
At all of your creators
HumanDivine partnership
Together we create each other
Each day
Life anew

Continue reading poem.

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